CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 52 min ago

Re: Long Term Tour & Saddle Sore

19 October 2014 - 8:29pm
Awesome website. I know the Kenyan side of kili quite well. The roads are bound to give your backside a bruising. Try and keep the sweat levels down and as Shane says take some time out. It is an investment in the rest of the trip! Arusha will be the best place for supplies until Dar.

Re: Good footwear?

19 October 2014 - 7:24pm
I would vote Exustar Stelvio SP705 - if you can find a pair that fits as now discontinued. I bought a few pairs when they were going cheap last Feb & I have been using one pair most of the time since then cycleing or not to see how it would hold up. Thats getting on 9 months incl a hot summer. The sole is showing wear in places but most is intact. These are designed as cleat shoes so have a thick sole. I dont use them as such. They did take a bit of breaking in as they have a fibre glass insole but now are very good for walking in as well as cycling. This may be the last all- use cycling shoe at a reasonable price that can also be used in general. I have also found them good for walking on rough ground, so good for stomping around off road when cycleing too bad. The only issue is wet concrete slopes then they can be a bit slippy ( but then many shoes are also?)

Too late for your trip as they do need breaking in. The are also pu leather so semi water proof.

prob too late for any new shoes

Rhine route?

19 October 2014 - 1:19pm
One of several possibilities for next year’s trip is a ride all the way up the Rhine from Rotterdam (who’d have thought that a bit of Italy would drain into the North Sea?). I’m thinking I might cut off the huge loop it makes to Basel by following Patrick Leigh Fermor’s route up the Neckar from Heidelberg, quick look at the Danube around Ulm, and rejoin the Rhine at Lake Constance. Any advice?

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

19 October 2014 - 12:30pm
ArMoRothair wrote:I heard someone from the British Antarctic Survey team being interviewed and she said -30° was okay, it was when things dipped below -40° that the real problems started, and at -50° it was pure survival, meaningful work was impossible.

From experience, I would say this is a very accurate description. Winter biking down to -30C with good equipment is actually great and I'd highly recommend it if you're tempted. Even down to -35C is OK.

As for cycling in Siberia in December - based on what it was like in February, I would not recommend it! Well, yes, it was brilliant in many ways and also really tough, and if you have this urge to do it, then definitely go because it is an amazing experience. But it is not something that should ever be recommended like you would the latest ben and jerry's flavour ice-cream or cinema release! Because the temperature will drop to -50C and rarely get above -30C in the day and then it's just about surviving, and that's not fun and not why I cycle tour.

Re: Touring Map(s) Hebrides & West Coast

19 October 2014 - 12:16pm
Paper maps are great - the batteries never run down and you get a great overview, so I personally wouldn't want a Garmin in the first place. I always found the OS 1:1250 000 Western Scotland and the Western Isles to be about right for road cycling. No longer available from the OS. Scottish map seller Nicolsons maps used to do their own version but didn't look so available a second ago.

The best source then is the mighty Aqua3.com for a customised, waterproof, extended width/height map.

Re: Touring Map(s) Hebrides & West Coast

19 October 2014 - 12:00pm
A quarter-inch map is fine for the outer isles and west coast, as there are not that many roads anyway. I used a page from a road book but there are several maps available for this purpose. Obviously for walking you will need the 25000 OS map for the Cuillins.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

19 October 2014 - 11:34am
Just picked up a George Longstaff, tourer & have just started stripping it down, for a respray.. My better half say's I should think of moving in to our shed full time, with the amount of time I spend in there..Have two restoration projects on the go at the moment.. The Longstaff & a Moulton APB.. I know very little about the Longstaff, as the original owner sadly passed away..It's a 531 frame & it's got some pretty fancy lug work.. Hope to get it to Atlantic Boulevard in Bury, next week for the respray..Am awaiting a tweet from Longstaff, to confirm the colour as I want to return it has close as possible to the original factory finish.

Touring Map(s) Hebrides & West Coast

19 October 2014 - 10:32am
Hoping to do my first tour next year & would be grateful for any advice in regards to paper maps for the above areas.. I had thought of buying a Garmin, but want to keep cost's down as I need to get a new tent, stove & various other bits before I set off in May. I would like to do some walking on Skye, so will need a more detailed map for the Cuillin region. Just want to know if I'm going to need many maps & which scale are best for using on a handlebar bag.. Any kind of advice would be appreciated as I'm a bit of a newbie to touring.. I do hope to do a test run into the Yorkshire Dales, before setting off for Scotland, just to make sure everything works as it should & I've not overlooked anything.

Kind Regards..


Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 10:05am
Anyway - Back to the original thread.

I tend to wear "travel gear" such as Rohan, Craghoppers, Paramo etc when touring as if I have an off the bike day to explore a city or even just and evening in the pub then I will fit in

For lights I use a B&M Ixn premium, as the light beam is good, has a reasonable life, and you can leave the charger at home an simply swap batteries if you need more than expected. On the rear I have a Fibre flare which simply last forever and an IX-Back on the rear for the same reasons

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 9:59am
mjr wrote:There is no downside. Bright fluorescent tops are great business attire and not at all ugly when visiting tourist attractions like stately homes. People should be happy with how much more beautiful it makes every rural view and any non motorised road user should use them:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... i-vis.html

Or we could stop this arms race with no winners.

Do you wear one in the Supermarket?

The Supermarket has a formal risk assessment that says the car Park is sufficiently dangerous that their employees need to wear Hi-Viz jackets as PPE when in th Car PArk.

Yet the same drivers who won't see the Supermarket worker without this visibility aid will see Mr and Mrs Bloggs along with Charmaine and Kevin who don't need Hi-Viz?

Surely we ALL be wearing Hi-Viz when crossing the Supermarket car park?

Re: Long Term Tour & Saddle Sore

19 October 2014 - 9:57am
Sustained friction causes heat and in turn will create saddle sores. I would recommend a cream which stops the sweat and in turn cuts down on the friction.

Something like this and containing an antiseptic if possible.

http://udderlysmooth.co.uk/product/cham ... ea-butter/

Re: St Malo to Narbonne

19 October 2014 - 9:57am
Hi Linda.

Did this ride with a couple of friends in summer of 2010 (seems like weeks not years ago). We stayed west and off main roads in the main. Joined the canal du midi 40 or so miles form Agen and stayed on (bar a few bits of road where it got too lumpy) all the way to Narbonne. Miunicipal campsites were great but I'd recommend getting a room near the coast..campsite we stayed at was so hard and pebbly we could hardly get pegs in.

We tended to average 65-70 miles a day, but in August the heat as we moved further south was so intense we'd set really early and get most miles in before lunch the a nice big break.

Here's a blog we all contributed to, which segues into my friend James' epic Norway to Athens ride.

http://www.medmen.org.uk/search?updated ... date=false

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 9:53am
maxcherry wrote:So why do people in Hi-Viz, with lights and helmet get knocked over ?


Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

19 October 2014 - 7:39am
The report from our club group just back from the P Park was that the food was fractionally better but the Wifi worse.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 2:23am
There is no downside. Bright fluorescent tops are great business attire and not at all ugly when visiting tourist attractions like stately homes. People should be happy with how much more beautiful it makes every rural view and any non motorised road user should use them:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... i-vis.html

Or we could stop this arms race with no winners.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 1:11am
pjclinch wrote:irc wrote:Because accidents caused by dark V bright coloured cars are a small fraction of the total accidents.

Okay, you've piqued my interest... exactly what fraction?

Too small for insurance companies to worry about. Just because something is small does not mean it doesn't exist.

http://www.claimsmadesimple.co.uk/artic ... olour-car/

pjclinch wrote:irc wrote:I know from experience that bright colours can be seen more easily at a distance. I have seen groups of cyclists or hillwalkers at a distance and seen the brightly dressed ones far sooner than the ones dressed in black.

Nobody's disputing that, but as I've already pointed out, you don't get hit by a motor vehicle that's half a mile away.

No but if drivers can see a cyclist in the distance that is only momentarily visible then lost to sight due to intervening traffic/hills/hedges etcthen their mental map now has that cyclist and they can be prepared for a safe overtake when they reach the cyclist even if they can't see him for much of the intervening time.

pjclinch wrote:irc wrote:I accept that in most cases drivers don't see because they are not looking but the low visibility of black still exists. Choosing not to wear black is just another edge I can get in my favour. Like choosing the low traffic 30mph route rather than the 70mph dual carriageway. Like not riding in the gutter etc. Just because the effect is small doesn't mean I would not rather have it in my favour.

You say it's "small", which is a qaulitative measure. What actually is it, quantitatively? Follow the research and it's increasingly turning out to be the case that hi-viz doesn't give any clear edge. That's not intuitive, but there again neither is the fact that crash helmets don't appear to do anything for your chances of a trip to A&E with something serious.

I suspect that the subset of accidents where visibility really matters is small enough that it can't be seen for the noise. I still prefer to have it on my side rather than against me. Being seen sooner is better than being seen later. Or are you saying it never matters how soon drivers see cyclists? I'll continue to avoid black cycling tops as unlike a helmet there is no downside to wearing a bright top.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 12:39am
If the OP doesn't want special clothes, sam brown belts are a good alternative – they don't make you hot and can easily be taken off and packed away. For night riding I wear a white reflective one with wide reflective ankle bands and the bike has Aldi spoke reflectors – very visible from all sides. On cloudy days when I'm in dark clothing, I'll wear a yellow high viz belt.

An anecdote regarding hi viz: some while ago I was cycling along a suburban street and saw an unidentifiable mass of yellow in the distance. It turned out to be a group of kids doing their bikability training so I smiled and waved as I went past. One of the instructors, however, felt that I wasn't visible enough (I was riding in primary, wearing a bright red cycling jacket and hi viz ankle bands on a bright, sunny day ). He clearly wanted to call me out as a bad example to his class, and waved his hi viz jacket insisting 'you should be wearing one of these – you can't be seen'. I responded pleasantly and carried on, but felt sad that those kids were already being taught to bear greater responsibility for their safety than is expected from an adult motorist, just through their attire. As future motorists themselves, they'll simply learn that driving a car absolves you from looking .

Re: Santander to Biarritz

18 October 2014 - 10:18pm
I have done this route both ways a few times. I have no problem with the coastal route and have covered it in previous threads on this specific subject. Look them up and ask if you need further clarification.

Re: Santander to Biarritz

18 October 2014 - 9:52pm
The main shock is the heat (if it gets hot it is really HOT) and the empty landscape. It's not all empty of course but the density of settlements on average is very different and don't expect much shelter from the heat. Expect quite long chunks of empty countryside compared to France once you are away from the coast. There are also fewer roads so the less detailed maps may not be a big deal.

PS my biggest learning point was that Sierra meant mountain. Still a family joke but I'd seen all the westerns talking about sierras and assumed it meant the grasslands the Cowboys were usually riding through, not the mountains in the distance. it's a fairly moutainous country I now realise, especially when you route map yourself through all the sierras!

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

18 October 2014 - 8:26pm
Going back to the original question you need to make sure you comply with the regulations for lighting and extras in not just the countries but the State or county you are visiting.
If you do not want to wear hiv vis do not but something that is reflective may keep the locals quiet.

A head torch is brilliant for looking where you are going especially road surface. However they are no good for being seen by cars (I do use a head torch) you would need at least one battery operated bike mounted lamp.

Similarly a helmet mounted rear lamp will disappear from behind when you turn your head, so a standard battery operated lamp (I like the ones with large reflectors) attached to the back of the rack as well would be better.

Sorry I can not recommend makes or models my last lot came from Aldi. Make sure that replacement batteries that fit the lights are available where you are going.


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